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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  July 12, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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tonight -- >> this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> donald trump jr. gives up the game. >> there's no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians. >> the president's son releases a jaw-dropping e-mail showing attempted collusion with the russian government. >> this is time and time again, lie after lie. >> tonight, what did the president know and when did he know it? >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> what this revelation means for all three investigations. >> the e-mails, i think, made quite clear that the russian government had possession of damaging information. >> how the white house and republicans are reacting to a story they can no longer call fake news. >> this is a massive nothing burger. >> why this bombshell e-mail is already a factor in the trajectory of trump care in the senate.
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>> i love e-mails. you can't erase e-mails. when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. after a year of denials tonight we know the campaign of donald j. trump for president at the very highest levels sought to collude with the russian government, to damage hillary clinton and win the 2016 election. all of trump world routinely dismissed the very notion of collusion with russia as insulting, fake news, cooked up by the campaign's enemies. but the release of e-mails today by the president's eldest son donald trump jr. shows the campaign was eager to accept russian government's help. that it now appears is how the president's son, son-in-law and campaign chairman ended up in a meeting last sull we are a russian tour, hoping to collect dirt on their point, hillary clinton. on june 3, 2016, donald trump jr. received an e-mail from rob goldstone.
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a music publicist and aquaintance of the trumps who was acting on behalf of his client, a russian pop star with ties to both the trump family and the kremlin through his father. asked you to comment something very interesting. the crown prosecutor russia met with his father this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. now, there is no crown prosecutor in russia. that's a british term. but there is a prosecutor general appointed by vladimir putin himself. the e-mail continues. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information. but is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump, helped along by aras and emin. part of russia and its government's support, mr. trump.
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keep in mind this e-mail came before we had any idea about the extent of russia's election interference and long before the u.s. intelligence community released its conclusion that that was meant to help donald trump which meant donald trump jr. knew what was happening before any than the rest us did. he knew the russian government was trying to get his father elected. his response, thanks, if it is what you say, i love it. especially later in the summer. just a few weeks later in the summer. the first batch of hacked dnc e-mails was released. it is now clear that trump jr. was lying when he claimed not to know who the russian lawyer was, the person he was meeting. with she is described in an e-mail from goldstone as a, and i quote, russian government attorney. donald trump jr. was lying when he denied having contact with russian individuals on behalf of the campaign.
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when he initially explained that he took meeting to discuss a suspended adoption program of donald trump jr. was lying last summer when he ridiculed reports about russia's role in the dnc hack. >> the campaign manager for secretary of state hillary clinton. he seemed to be suggesting this is part of a plot to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. your response? >> well, it goes to show you the exact moral compass. they'll say anything to win this. this is time and time again, lie after lie. he will say, well, i say this. we hear experts. his house cat at home once said this is what's happening with the russians. it is disgusting. it is so phony. >> disgusting. so phony. it is not just trump jr. who is implicated by these new e-mails. the whole chain appears to have been forwarded to his brother-in-law, jared kushner, and paul manafort. the actual subject line showing up in everybody's subject box.
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he maintains his high level security clearance in an exclusive interview with nbc news, the russian lawyer said she never intended to hand over any damaging information. according to trump jr., he did not receive any material. at this point, we had no way of knowing what actually happened in that meeting in 2016 but we do know the russian government's efforts to help the trump campaign did not stop after that day. in a new interview, trump jr. admitted again, he wanted to hear what the russians had on hillary. >> in retrospect, i probably would have done things a little differently. this was before the russia mania. this was before they were building it up in the press. for me this was opposition research. they had something, maybe concrete evidence to all the stories we were hearing about that were probably underreported for years. not just during the campaign. i think i wanted to hear it out.
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but it the went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was all about. >> we don't know if that's true, of course. today the president of the united states broke his silence over the controversy about his son. releasing a statement through a spokesperson. >> i have a quick statement that i will read from the president. my son is a high quality person and i applaud his transparency. >> a high quality person. the big question now, whether the president's son, his son-in-law or his campaign chair ever told the president, the center of the campaign about this meeting, or about the offer of government support from the russian government. the president was at trump tower on the day of the meeting. his office just one floor up from where it took place. according to his son and his lawyers, he remained in the dark. i asked the democratic senator, mike warner, the vice chairman of the intelligence community whether he knew about these new e-mails.
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>> i won't talk about what the committee knew or didn't know about today. in the last 24 hours, the public for the first time has seen clear evidence that officials from the trump campaign knew about the russian efforts to try to interfere in the elections, to try to hurt clinton, and help in this case. donald trump jr.'s father. and included not only his son but his son-in-law and the campaign manager and the fact they somehow all managed to kind of forget this information when they filed their appropriate reports, is fairly stunning to me. >> what do you say to folks who say, the defenders of the president that i've seen basically, that they fell for a bait-and-switch. nothing happened. no crime. nothing to see here. >> what i would say is there's not anyone that i would know, democrat or republican, that would take an incoming from an agent of a foreign government. in this particular case, a
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foreign adversary like russia, that. hey, this is part of the russian government's effort to try to help in this case mr. trump and derail hillary clinton. no one would take that kind of meeting. most folks would turn that kind of information over to the fbi before they would take that kind of meeting on. >> do you believe the accounts that have been given about the content of the meeting? >> again, i think i'm not going to reach any conclusions. i know some of my colleagues have. until we as a committee get on talk to donald trump jr., mr. kushner and mr. manafort. i think we owe them at least a chance to offer some answers. believe you me, i have a number of very serious questions to ask all three of them. >> why do you think that jared kushner should retain a security clearance, given that we now have three examples of meetings with russian nationals connected
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to the kremlin, that he omitted from his security clearance fs 86 form under penalty of perjury? >> i want to give mr. kushner a testify. what bothers the heck out of me, it is not just jared kushner. this is now close to a dozen plus events where senior officials, either from the trump campaign, the transition, or the trump administration have gone on television and public media and constantly said no meetings with russia, nothing to look at here. but everyone of them have said that until they've seen the actual evidence. then they've had to recan't and go amend their filings or publicly apologize, or in the case of general flynn, get fired or in the case of the attorney general, recuse himself from the whole investigation. this is a very, very disturbing pat fresh this whole group of individuals. >> the president of the united states's lawyer deny that had the president had any knowledge
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of either the e-mail or the meeting. do you take the president's lawyer at his word? >> i would say this, chris. if you had your son and your son-in-law received information that said hey, the russian government has got valuable information that will help you as a candidate and hurt your opponent, hillary clinton, it strains my credibility to think that the son or the son-in-law wouldn't strain that information. now again, the committee will get a chance to ask those individuals directly, those questions. so i'll reserve final judgment until we get a chance to ask those questions. but it is peculiar to say the least. >> republicans on the hill today, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said he will push back the recess. what is your response to a gop majority full steam ahead on the legislative agenda as we are learning more and more about
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what happened during this campaign? >> well, i'm happy to say that an awful lot of my republican colleagues have expressed a lot of dismay. not all of them on camera. many to me privately. we've had members of the committee like susan collins and james langford who have said this is very important information that donald trump jr. needs to testify. my job is to keep this bipartisan investigation bipartisan. moving forward. i'll let others jump to the extremes but i think it is important we continue this. i do think it will take more than a couple more additional weeks of the congress being in session before anything close to that dreadful health care bill ever gets passed by the united states senate. >> mark warner, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> i'm joined by dan rather, former anchor of "cbs evening news." always good to have you here. the questions are obvious.
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the answers are wanting. we the american people deserve to know what in god's name is happening. do you feel like you have any idea what in god's name is happening? >> i think the seeds of suspicion. we do have suspicions. what we have are very few hard granite truths. this situation is unprecedented in our history. we talked about that before. i think it is worth underscoring. this is jaw dropping. we've never had this before. we've had he presidents who have lost all sense of credibility. richard nixon deep into the second material of his president. but donald trump has been president for only six months. and it just keeps on coming. now, we need more facts. what i call hard granite truths.
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but we got some of those he hard granite truths today. that what we were told by the president's son and others in the campaign before, untrue. now, the potential for legal problems just grow by the minute here. because whatever he did or didn't do in that meeting, whatever his reaction to was or wasn't, if he has in fact lied about it. some would say since he's lied about it, if in fact he lied about it, that's a crime. that can be perjury. at the very least, whether he is legally accountable orange there is a real ethical question involved here. a question of patriotism involved here. and it is an immense political question for donald trump's presidency right now. the hot breath of truth is coming down heavy on their necks just now. >> as to the ethical problem, i really want to get your perspective on what we have seen happen in the last 24 hours.
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we've seen, okay, people that defended the president said there's no interference. then enter fweerns no collusion. well, they tried to collude but who wouldn't? as someone who has observed and reported on political life for decades, what do you say that any campaign would have taken this meeting, this is totally normal, this isn't an rent. >> i would say that is not true and demonstrably not true. during the 2000 presidential campaign, between one of the debates between al gore and george w. bush, george w. bush briefing book was delivered to the gore campaign. the gore campaign immediately called the fbi and turned the book over to the fbi. well, what should he have done? some would say, what do you expect him to do? under these circumstances, i expect him to call the fbi and say this is what happened. because when a foreign power gets involved with trying to affect the sovereignty of the
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united states, it doesn't get much more difficult than that. and a president, the power of the presidency, which we all so often talk about, a central power of the presidency is the power to persuade. in the military they put it this way. down the ranks, they have to have faith in command. the american faith in the command of donald trump overall, it was never high and has been sinking ever since he got into office. primarily because of this business with the russians. now, as is so often the case, chris, whatever happened in that meeting or didn't happen in that meeting, it is the lies that have been told since then, the conflicting testimony, the backtracking. they are in a word and have been from the beginning even he before the presidency on, what happened and didn't happen. they've been slipping and sliding. now the game is closing in on they will. >> it is important to focus in
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on that. i remember when we were first reporting on this question, did michael flynn talk to sergei kislyak? it is a little story. it wouldn't really be that crazy. he is the incoming security adviser. he talks to the national security adviser of the but they started lying about it. and i wonder, what does do it to your journalist brain, and your sort of experience, when you watch people tell a series of repeated untruths about the sail thing? >> it raises great suspicions about what is it they're hiding? what we're talking about tonight is what are they hiding? they were hiding some things. some things are coming into the light now. there are other things that they're hiding. and we have to keep in mind that it is a special prosecutor. kushner was in that room, manafort was in that room, the president's son was in the room. what dole is get them physically
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in the same room and talk about the stories. you can't keep telling one story one day, and then backtracking and reversing on it the next day. in terms of the optics, public relations, in terms of the law, you can't get away from it. >> had dan rather, thank you. >> thank you. next, now that we know top members of the team were trying to affect election it paints a different picture. this changes everything the trump campaign has ever said and done affecting russia, in two minutes. introducing listerine® zero alcohol™. it delivers a whole mouth clean with a less intense taste. so it has the bad breath germ-killing power of this... with the lighter feel... of this. try listerine® zero alcohol™.
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did you know slow internet can actually hold your business back? say goodbye to slow downloads, slow backups, slow everything. comcast business offers blazing fast and reliable internet that's up to 16 times faster than slow internet from the phone company. say hello to faster downloads with internet speeds up to 250 megabits per second. get fast internet and add phone and tv now for only $34.90 more per month. call today. comcast business. built for business. we now know that three people at the very top of the campaign for donald trump for president and his former campaign manager took a meeting with the kremlin connected russian lawyer last june after being promised, quote, information that would
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incriminate hillary. information that was part of russia and its government support for mr. donald trump. that information was sent to mr. john jr. who forwarded it to manafort and kushner. a month and a half later after the hacked e-mails, manafort explicitly denied any ties to the russian government. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you, and the putin regime? >> there are not. it is absurd. there is no basis to it. >> that same day, john jr. responded angrily to a clinton campaign aide saying this, something he knew at the time to be true. >> it is disgusting. so phony. i watched them bumble through the interview. i was able to hear it. i can't think of bigger lies but that goes to show what you the dnc and the clinton camp will do. they will lie and do anything to win. i don't mind a fair fight but these lies and the perpetuating of that kind of nonsense to gain
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political capital is outrageous and he should be ashamed of himself. >> that man who was quite evidently passionate and exorcised. he has now admitted he tried to get damaging information from the russian government. kushner would later attempt to set all that back channel with the russian government, possibly in their facilities to evade detection, he did not disclose the meeting with the russian lawyer on his security form. and that was at least one three meetings that jared kushner did not disclose. we don't know if president trump himself was aware of the meeting. the white house says he wasn't. we know it took place in trump tower. we know the future president was in trump that day. we know the man who sent the e-mail promising russian government dirt to john jr., offered to, and i quote, send this info to your father via rhoda, assistant.
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we do not know if he did so. if the president did know the russian government was actively seeking to had he him it puts everything he's done with russia frrgs his repeated charges of fake news to the firing of james comey into a a whole new context. not the least this moment. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be reward mightily by our press. >> joining me now, columnist, you have some great sources in the white house who are always good for incredibly colorful quotes. what is the mood over there? >> a lot of this feels like burning. what we do know by reporting by me and my colleague over at the daily beast, is that people
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within trump's inner circle, including top people in the white house, for months and some over a year now, do not have a very high opinion of donald trump jr. at all. if anything, that opinion has cratered even further, given the revelations of the past few days. quite frankly, many think he is an idiot. that's not my word. that's from sources we have in the piece. and during the campaign, there were people at the top levels of the trump campaign who would gossip about him behind his back and call him freddo. anyone who has sustain godfather series knows when you say that, you're referring to a weak and insecure and failure of a son who does harm to the family and contributes very little. >> i keep thinking about, so i can think about what happened after this meeting. so here's the thing i think about. let's stay meeting goes down exactly the way they say.
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it turns out to be a con. she is talking, she leaves. six weeks later, when you're watching the news, and these hacks start coming out and there's reporting the russians are behind it, you then know. you have to remember at that moment, oh, right, they said. >> and they said it would be great if something came out later in the summer. it is just, it is -- it's not credible, the idea that they had no idea that this was coming. and certainly that they had no idea who was behind it once it began to emerge. and one of the things that has been so bizarre and i think kind of psychologically debilitating for those of us who are forced to live through the terrible period, so much is on the one hand completely open and on the other hand completely implausible. so there has been all of these bizarre coincidences, lies, scandals, the kushner back channel, the flynn firing, the money that is already emerged.
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donald trump's ties to all of these oligarchs. it seems like there was something so profoundly corrupt going on that you could scarcely grasp it. it is hard to even, there is this believability hurdle that it doesn't surpass. he just asked for collusion on live television. on the other hand, they're so blatant that it almost seems exculpatory. if they're colluding with the russians, why would they do it on live television? >> i never thought an e-mail like the existed. it is possible that it didn't lead for anything further. we have to be skeptical about that idea. it seeps that'll everyone in the white house is tied to a potential cover-up that they don't know what's being covered up.
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there must be a lot of people working in the white house who are waiting for the next bomb to drop like the rest of us. >> correct. that might even include the president himself. it strains credulity that president trump was kept in the dark entirely over this. but if you look at the president's statement today, which came after several days of silence on twitter and elsewhere, where he wouldn't defend his eldest son, donald trump jr., it is a very brief one sentence statement that defends his high quality son and he praises him for his transparency. and it wreaks of a statement that doesn't seem full throated or enthusiastic. >> yes. i noticed that as well. vice president pence as well. coming up with a statement that was very tepid. i'm focused on what we're trying to do here. you can almost watch people.
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it seems like in real-time we are watching trump jr. be turned into the fall guy for this story. >> right. but it seems like that's what they are attempting to do. right? that cannot be allowed to happen and i don't think it will be allowed to happen. it is a scandal that will, jared kushner even might still have a security clearance. i guess sarah huckabee sanders won't answer one way or the other. it was clearly far deeper than donald trump jr. and the other thing, if somebody says to you, they kind of say part of the russian government's support for your father and interest in helping you get elected. or whatever the exact language is. that's presented as not a new revelation. >> a known fact. something already entered into office. >> if it wasn't and something like that comes across your desk, even donald trump jr., i can't imagine him saying with a straight face that he decided not to mention that to his father. >> i want to say that no one
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called the fbi. that seems like the obvious thing that you're obligated to do if you have any moral compass whatsoever. coming up in the days after the watergate break in the nixon white house, trying to call it a third rate burglary. today it is all about nothing burgers.
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>> donald trump jr. is not part of administration. this is a massive nothing burger. >> i know burgers and i have a gut to prove it. and this is a nothing burger. >> i would fall in the nothing burger category on this one. >> so far a nothing burger. >> i'm one of those people who says it's a nothing burger. >> i guess that would be a condiment. >> is that just mustard or a game changer? >> would you like to continue talking about nothing burger story? >> so put brit hume down as a nothing burger. >> that's a phrase that has gotten so common. >> now the e-mails are out. at least one of those people has evolved. today he declared it is, now, a something burger tweeting, i voted for potus last november and want him and the usa to
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succeed but that meeting given that e-mail chain just released, is a big no-no. >> the senate republican leader renewed his push to get a gop health care bill passed. possibly before it's too late. the fallout and trump e-mails on the hill right after this break.
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someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the time you
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saw dr. zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named boris, you list everyone of those and we'll turn it over to the special counsel. this drip, drip, drip is undermining this administration. >> this was one of a range of republican reactions including utah senator orrin hatch who called the e-mails overblown. one man in washington had an immediately pragmatic reaction. mitch mcconnell appeared to recognize a clock is running on this administration with hours of the release of the e-mails, he pushed back the august recess so as to jam through as. business as possible as quickly as possible. >> we've got the defense authorization, we've got the debt ceiling, the fda user fee and other important legislation that we need to address and we simply, as a result of all this obstructionism, don't have
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enough time to address all of these issues between now and the originally anticipated august recess. so we'll be here the first two weeks of august. >> mitch mcconnell may be blaming democrats who are of course in the minority for obstruction, but the calendar suggests this is about passing health care reform before more scandal eresults and closes the window. this despiter the campaign sought to collude with a foreign power during the election. with me now, republican congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania. how would you characterize senior members of the campaign taking a meeting with someone described as a foreign agent of a foreign power to provide derogatory information about their campaign opponent? how would you characterize that? >> at the very least, problematic. damaging. >> problematic. damaging. i would say. it's not something i could ever explain or deny and i won't even try.
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i think it is a serious problem and that's why bob mueller is investigating and he will make a determination if there is any collusion or if laws were broken. it is a serious matter. i'm not going to whitewash this by any means. >> is there anything, i don't know how the ask this. the question that everybody wants to know. is there anything that would happen that would say, that would make you, charlie dent, say i cannot support donald trump as president of the united states? i can't vote for his agenda. i can't be on board with him. >> well, let me answer it this way. i think when we get beyond the day to day news on russia, the drip, drip, drip, i think we have to look at this on a much broader context than russia. they are a hostile foreign power. they are an adversary. they are a threat. they want to break up nato. they want to undermine american influence anywhere they can. they behaved badly in ukraine and syria and our elections.
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we all know that. they're bad actors. and we should not be entering agreement on cyber security, for example. we should be doing that with our friends and our allies to protect against threats like russia. and not expose our methods and our intelligence, our knowledge, with a hostile actor. i don't understand why this administration is so he conciliatory and accommodating to putin's russia. >> but you don't understand, there is a plausible theory not given today's e-mail, perhaps they're acome dating because they know that that government helped them get elected, and could presumably help they will in the future. isn't that a theory to entertain? >> i guess a fair point, chris. fair point. my view on the administration, i work with the administration on issues when i think they're moving in the right direction. i will support them. when they're doing things not in our nation's interests, i'll serve as a check and i'll oppose them.
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it is not an issue of a zero sum game. that because of an issue, i have to oppose or support them on everything. i think we have to be a little more balance in the nuance. >> i get that. one of the things you did not support they will on is the health career in the senate. >> and the travel ban. >> but i guess the question i'm trying to get at is, at what point do you approach something that looks like a legitimacy crisis? here's an example. right now, mitch mcconnell will try on push through a bill crafted in secret and rewritten in secret that would reorder 1/6 of the economy. 22 million people lose health care and do it in a two-week window in the wake of finding out concrete evidence the president's he campaign sought to collude with a foreign entity and the president himself you understand a criminal campaign for obstruction of justice. isn't those conditions, isn't it fair for americans to say, hold up.
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shouldn't we find out first if the president is first not a criminal before we pass this health care legislation? >> well, let me say this. we have important work to do, whether on tax reform, health care, infrastructure. and i have to operate under the presumption of innocence. all people are presumed innocent until proonl otherwise. so i think we have business to attend to. to the extent we are talking about in this case the russian matter or some other tweet that has nothing to do with anything substantive, it is distracting us from dealing with these real and serious policy issues the president expects us to address. >> you're right. and presumption of innocence is of central he importance. it is different with the president. the president of the united states doesn't have, he isn't tried in normal court. the president is a citizen who has a very different set of legal accountability. the powers ubld article 1 of impeachment of the united states congress. so you ultimately, you are sitting in judgment.
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because there's no other process that doesn't involve one charlie dent and his colleagues in determining what is too much. >> well, i don't think that -- chris, look. you're using the term impeachment. i think that's not something we should be talking about at all. again, there is a threshold for that. high crimes is that misdemeanors. there is a presumption of innocence. yes, there is an ongoing investigation by bob mueller and committees. i think it is pre mature to be jumping to the next step about what should happen in the event something does happen. we don't know if there was collusion or not. these e-mails don't look good bust that's up for the special prosecutor to make that recommendation. >> fair enough and final question. should mitch mcconnell have at least one hearing before they vote in the senate? >> well, i think there should be more transparency on the health care issue. i've always felt that way. >> should he have a hearing?
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>> yes. we should. the democrats shouldn't have muscled obamacare through the way they did and i don't think we should either. >> always a pleasure. i really do appreciate it. coming up, did donald trump jr. commit a crime? we'll talk about that and where the mueller investigation goes from here. it's not a quick fix. it's my decision to make beauty last. roc® retinol started visibly reducing my fine lines
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the billable hours are building up. president trump's legal team currently consists. vice president pence called it pretty routine when he hired a lawyer last month. around the same time jeff sessions retained legal counsel. jared kushner has hired two personal lawyers.
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and even trump's long time personal attorney michael cohen hired a personal attorney of his own. following revelations, we've been introduced to several new characters including this guy who is now wanting a lawyer for himself. one a history of defending monsters. that's thing two in 60 seconds.
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today we learned three of the people allegedly kegtd to john jr.'s meeting last year have hired lawyers themselves. rob goldstone, the publicist and journalist with a pension for posting facebook videos like the one and who e-mailed john jr. to set up the meeting has confirmed he's hired a new york city-based attorney to handle inquiries related to the russia probe. meanwhile, the father/son duo with ties to putin, the ones who
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were allegedly involved sunsetting up the meeting with don jr., they also retained an american attorney today, but perhaps the most significant legal hire made this week was this guy, that is criminal defense attorney alan futerfas, who made a name for himself by defending high-profile mobsters including the alleged head of the lucchese crime family and defendants accused of working with the gambino and event casy families. that lawyer was retained yesterday by none other than donald trump jr.
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the revelations of donald trump jr.'s meeting along with paul manafort and jared kushner, with a russian lawyer, came to light through dogged reporting and leaks. imagine for a momentum what kind of information this can guy can get husband hands on. robert mueller has quietly been leading a justice department
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investigation into russian interference in last year's election. and as part of that, the investigation of the president himself for possible obstruction of justice. and doing so with an army of investigators in what is widely considered an all-star roster of lawyers known for their work in public security, corruption, and financial crimes. but what we're hearing from a lot of the president's defenders today is even if his oldest son crossed the line on collusion, he didn't commit a crime. are they right? we'll talk about that and where robert mueller's investigation is headed in the wake of the trump e-mails, next. introducing listerine® zero alcohol™. it delivers a whole mouth clean with a less intense taste. so it has the bad breath germ-killing power of this...
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♪ pressure... i feel it every day. but at night, it's the last thing on my mind. for 10 years, my tempur-pedic has adapted to my weight and shape, so i sleep deeply... and wake up ready to perform. ♪ nothing performs like a tempur-pedic, and our july 4th event is the perfect time to buy one. save up to $500 on select tempur-pedic mattress sets. find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com joining me now, carrie cordeiro, former justice department lawyer who now teaches at georgetown law, and paul butler, msnbc legal
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analyst, who also teaches at georgetown. all right, so, paul, let me start with you. just, there's a question today, it's not clear one way or the other, what we know today, does that constitute criminal activity. what's your read on that? >> chris, when donald trump jr. did this e-mail dump today, he provided probable cause for robert mueller to charge him with a crime. specifically, campaign fraud. it's a federal offense to solicit a campaign contribution from a foreign national. the statute's clear. the contribution doesn't have to be cash, money, it can be anything of value, including opposition research. now, do i think mueller is going to charge him tomorrow? no. when you have probable cause, you don't have to do it that day. but make no mistake, mr. trump jr. is in deep trouble of his own doing at some point, he will be charged. >> carrie, do you agree?
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>> well, here's what i think thes e-mails that were released today showed. first of all, it showed that the trump campaign's senior individuals like donald trump jr. and the other senior leaders of the campaign knew that there was a russian influence that was supporting their -- his father's campaign and second of all, the e-mails provide more opportunity for the investigation to follow up on certain things. so, for example, it said that there was russian government support. and so the question that is raised is what is that other support that might exist? was it only opposition research or, i think, the investigators are going to look at, were there other types of support, whether it's financial or something else, and i think that's going to be another area that the investigators can look at now. >> yeah, paul, i mean, the thing i want to read are the e-mails after this meeting. if the meeting goes down that the way that people -- that don jr. says it went down, is that the lawyer came in and kind of hand waved and got into this
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adoption magnitsky act, you imagine there might be further e-mails or conversations with rod goldstone saying, hey, what was that, i thought you guys had real good dirt, what's the deal? can you ask aras and emin -- i mean, all of that will be accessible to investigators if any of that exists, right? >> right. this is the beginning of a paper trail. if this is what incredibly persuasive reporters are getting, and all they have the is the power of persuasion, bob mueller has the power of subpoena. i think we can guess he has a lot more information that we can be looking. all he's looking at on the e-mails is the cc and he wants to know if the pig kahuna, donald trump sr. is in on any of this. i don't know anybody who believes donald trump sr. when he says he didn't know about this meeting. it belies credibility if you think his son was there, his
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son-in-law, the chief of his campaign, talking about something trump is obsessed with, hillary's e-mails, and he knows nothing about it? give me a break. >> carrie, i also thought that today's revelations colored the case for obstruction. if it is the fact that the president of the united states knew, and we haven't established that at all, but if it were the fact that it was established that he knew that the russian government was seeking to aid him, that his son and other aides had met with them, that would give them a very clear motivation to make sure that people didn't do too much digging around into the issue, with right? >> look, he's known. the things -- whether he knew about this particular meeting or not is one thing. but what this one meeting will lead to is an uncovering of whether there were other similar types of meetings or conversations. his efforts have been to stop this investigation. he fired the chief investigator. he has tweeted repeatedly, trying to discredit the
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investigation. he's tried to discredit the fbi, he's tried to discredit the intelligence community. he's wanted this investigation stopped. and so, there has to be a reason for that. >> paul, if you were an investigator, if you were working in the public corruption unit, part of justice, and you saw something like this, just a local race, where a campaign aide met with a foreign -- the promise of a foreign attorney, to provide oppo, what would go through your head? >> i would think, this is really weird. why is this guy meeting with a russian national. and then i would do what bob mueller is going to do, which is to bring trump jr. in for a little sit down with crack fbi agents and his best prosecutors. and he's in a difficult position. if he tells the truth, he just complicates himself in campaign fraud. if he lies, he's going down for perjury. if he takes the fifth, then his dad, the president, has some explaining to do. >> all right. carrie cordero and paul butler, thank you both for your time.
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that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. >> breaking news we are covering tonight on the trumps and russia. the e-mails of donald trump jr. that show he's known for over a year that the russian government wanted to help his father's candidacy. and was offered damaging information on hillary clinton. to which he eagerly replied "i love it." the storm inside the white house described tonight as a category 5 hurricane. among our guests a key member of the senate intelligence committee, a trump campaign adviser, and a former watergate prosecutor as the 11th hour gets under way. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. day 173 of the trump administration. today came a big change. a string of e-mails showing a trump campaign willing to let the russian government help win them the election.

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